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Hire the best people in 2019 for your dental practice with these tips

Feb. 1, 2019
Dental practices have been known to make some missteps when it comes to hiring the right people. Here are some ideas that have worked for other practices when it comes to finding the right people to join their teams.
Sally McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Management
I want 2019 to be your year. Over the next 11 months, I want you to meet your goals and realize your dream of owning a thriving, successful dental practice. There are many steps you can take to make that happen, including hiring a team of talented people who support your vision and do their part to move your practice forward.

When open positions come up, most dentists want to fill them as quickly as possible. So instead of going through the proper steps, they hire the first person they see with an impressive resume. Often, they end up with a bad hire who costs them thousands of dollars in lost revenue and countless hours of wasted time. These employees do nothing but hold the practice back and bring down the rest of the team. This is not exactly a recipe for success.

To avoid this scenario, there are steps you can take to help ensure you hire qualified, talented people who contribute to the practice’s success. Want to learn more? Here are my tips on how to hire the best people.

Develop detailed job descriptions

Many dentists I work with tell me job descriptions are a waste of time. Trust me, they’re not. In fact, job descriptions are a vital part of the hiring process.

Every job description you create should outline the skillset necessary to excel in the role, job responsibilities, and your expectations. Send job descriptions to every candidate you’re considering before you set up interviews. That way, people know exactly what you’re looking for and can remove themselves from consideration if they realize the job is not for them. This will save everyone a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

Make your job listings stand out

Creating specific, detailed job listings will help you attract the strongest candidates. Remember to use active words to describe the role and target your ads to the position you’re hiring. Include all of the information potential applicants will want to know, such as office location, position status, and salary range. If you don’t include a salary range, half of prospects will skip right over your ad, meaning you’re losing quality candidates just because your listing isn’t detailed enough.

Carefully review resumés

This is where many dentists get into trouble. They see what they consider an impressive resumé and decide they’ve found the right person. Unfortunately, you can’t judge a candidate on a resumé alone. Keep in mind resumés are a sales pitch, and many applicants exaggerate their experiences or simply lie.

As you look over resumés, it’s important to be aware of common red flags. For instance, if you’re looking at a resumé with large gaps in employment history, this is someone you’re probably going to want to avoid. If a resumé lists skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments but has no chronological record of employment or job details, the candidate is probably a job hopper.

Remember those job descriptions I asked you to create to start the hiring process? They also come in handy when reviewing resumés. If a candidate clearly doesn’t have the skills you listed in the job description, you know he or she isn’t a good fit. You can move on to the next applicant without wasting a lot of time.

Conduct phone interviews

Many dentists skip this step and move straight to the in-person interview, but I think that’s a mistake. You can learn a lot about candidates during a 20-minute phone conversation, such as compensation expectations and details about their employment history. As you talk, it will become clear if candidates are a good fit or not. If you determine they’re not, you just saved yourself the time and money involved with an in-person interview.

Ask open-ended questions

Once you get to the face-to-face interview, it’s important to ask the right questions. Your open-ended questions should enable candidates to give detailed responses. Consider vague answers another red flag.

Conduct pre-employment testing

Pre-employment assessment and personality temperament tests can help you decide if a candidate you’re considering is a good fit. I suggest you conduct these tests before extending any job offers.

Check references

Ask candidates for references and then contact those references. Conversations with former supervisors and colleagues will give you a good feel for how someone handled other jobs, helping you determine if they’re truly right for the position you’re filling.

I predict 2019 is going to be a great year. One way to make that happen is to surround yourself with talented team members who are ready to help your practice thrive. If you follow these tips, you’ll bring the best people possible on board, and you’ll avoid all the heartache and lost money that come with bad hires.

Need more guidance? Feel free to contact me. Together, we can find and hire the right people for your practice.

Sally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management, a full-service, nationwide dental practice management company. Contact her directly at (877) 777-6151 or at [email protected].
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About the Author

Sally McKenzie | CEO of McKenzie Management

Sally McKenzie was CEO of McKenzie Management, a full-service, nationwide dental practice management company. For over 30 years, Sally immersed herself in techniques, systems, and methods to improve the performance of dental practices. She was a dental auxiliary, dental business administrator, and dental educator for several years prior to founding McKenzie Management in 1980.

Read more about her legacy in the dental profession from Chris Salierno, DDS.